Nasim Akhtar captures memories

He is the visual author of The Light of Golra Sharif published in 1993. A couple of images from the book are given here. As a Pakistan Television cameraman, Nasim Akhtar was one of the camera team that began black and white cricket coverage in 1973. He covered cricket live till 1981. He was also a member of the team that started Quetta television in 1974. He did many TV plays, especially longplays by well-known producers Muhammad Nisar Hussain, the proverbial ‘MNH’, and Yawar Hayat and many episodes of Waris. With Nusrat Thakur, he did Kandhari Bazaar documentary in 1975. These are just to name a few of his masterpieces.
Islamia college Peshawar-i
Here is what he told IRIS ART MAGAZINE in a recent talk:

“I wanted to be a photographer and eventually I became one. Being a simple guy who is not fond of mixing socially, I liked to meet simple and straightforward people. I don’t claim that I am an artist, but I believe that photography is an art form. In Arabic, a photographer is called Musawwir. It is also one of the names for the Ultimate Creator, Who has made the most beautiful human figures and other living forms, mountains and valleys, and orbs and galaxies. I remember that I made a photograph of Noorjahan’s tomb. I made the same composition as many other photographers had done but a single piece of cloud in the sky gave life to my photograph, made it unique. That was a beautiful natural touch.”

Many of his solo photography exhibitions in Pakistan were held in Pakistan, a solo exhibition was organized in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1998. He was awarded the second best documentary film award on Kandahari Bazaar in 1976.

Golra Sharif 1-i

He was appointed the official photographer of the prime minister of Pakistan in 1989. Later, he made official portraits of president of Pakistan Ziaul Haq, prime minister Benazir Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif who was then chief minister of Punjab. He also made photo portraits of King Fahad of Saudi Arabia at King Khalid Airport’s inauguration ceremony. The portrait was published in many magazines in Saudi Arabia in England in 1984.

Nasim Akhtar was a member of the camera team that started live coverage of cricket in 1973. “In fact PTV did not have arrangement for live transmission at that time so we used to cover live and transmit after one hour,” he disclosed. He was a member of the PTV team that started its Quetta Centre in 1974. About his masterful photography and videography, he elaborated: “One can master photographic techniques, travel to the location early in the morning much before sunrise and wait for the proper light to fall on to composed landscape or architecture but only God can create the drama of the photograph and the picture can become alive.”

Golra Sharif   Night Scene-i

He thinks his chief source of inspiration is French photographer Roland Michaud. “He paints with light. He believes in God and his famous publication is The Orient in a Mirror.”

About his childhood, Nasim recalls: “Born in Lahore in 1954, I was the only brother of three sisters. and a very shy child. I was not comfortable with my boy classmates. My elder sister would protect me if a boy picked up a fight with me. At the MAO college I was president of photographic society. I was an energetic photographer and loved to work day and night. During the Islamic Summit held in 1974, I worked 20 hours a day.”

His favorite genre and style in photography is portrait photography.

Nasim loves to transfer his knowledge of photography to young people.

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“I have written a book in Urdu on photography for young enthusiasts. I believe our youngsters have great potential but they are handicapped by the language, and can hardly have access to expert or amateur literature on photography.” — KR

Highlights:

Many of his solo photography exhibitions in Pakistan were held in Pakistan, a solo exhibition was organized in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1998. He was awarded the second best documentary film award on Kandahari Bazaar in 1976.

He thinks his chief source of inspiration is French photographer Roland Michaud. “He paints with light. He believes in God and his famous publication is The Orient in a Mirror.”

He has written a book in Urdu on photography for young enthusiasts. He says, ‘I believe our youngsters have great potential but they are handicapped by the language, and can hardly have access to expert or amateur literature on photography.’